U.S. and European stocks advanced on Wednesday after promising U.S. jobs data, and the euro rebounded after hitting a three-week low on renewed optimism that Greek will complete its debt restructuring after major banks and pension funds pledged their support.
Completion of the debt restructuring is crucial for Greece to secure 130 billion euros in international rescue funds needed so it can avert a chaotic default.
Some traders are hoping Greece will clinch a debt restructuring before Thursday's deadline. This outlook helped revive appetite for stocks, oil and gold and kept a lid on safe-haven demand for U.S. and German government debt.
A report from payrolls processor ADP showing that U.S. private-sector hiring increased more than expected in February helped cement views that the U.S. economy is gaining traction. The report came two days ahead of the government's more comprehensive monthly report on the labour market.
This does suggest we are moving it in the right direction, said Beth Ann Bovino, senior U.S. economist at Standard & Poor's Ratings Services in New York. It supports the expectations of another 200,000-plus in Friday's payroll report. The jobs numbers are looking healthier.
In currency markets, the signs of progress on the Greek debt deal helped lift the euro, though there were still clouds the kept the single currency in check.
In late afternoon New York trading, the euro ended 0.2 percent higher to $1.3148, near its global session peak of $1.3164 - after earlier touching a three-week low of $1.3095.
The dollar fell broadly after The Wall Street Journal reported that officials of the U.S. Federal Reserve are considering a new bond-buying program, a move that would undermine the value of the dollar
According to the Journal, Fed officials are considering buying bonds while simultaneously borrowing the money it used to buy those bonds for short periods of time at low interest rates in order to limit inflation pressures.
That is something the market completely thought was an impossibility, which is a third round of quantitative easing before the end of the election cycle, even if it is in sterilized form, said Boris Schlossberg, director of FX research at GFT in Jersey City, New Jersey. It is very positive for equities, but negative for the dollar.
The dollar index <.DXY> slipped from a three-week high and was last down 0.2 percent at 79.72.
The report on the Fed helped drive up shares on Wall Street, breaking a three-day losing streak.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> closed up 78.18 points, or 0.61 percent, at 12,837.33. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> ended up 9.27 points, or 0.69 percent, at 1,352.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> finished up 25.37 points, or 0.87 percent, at 2,935.69. <.N>
Earlier in the week, portfolio managers, advisers and institutional money managers were looking for some sort of pullback just because it's good to buy on the dip, and we've had such a nice run, said Mark Martiak,, senior wealth strategist at Premier Financial Advisors in New York. The right part of the economic good news, good data story was the private sector adding 216,000 jobs.
Banking stocks - Tuesday's big losers - were the strongest sector on Wednesday. The KBW bank index <.BKX> advanced 1.9 percent. Morgan Stanley
Buzz over Apple Inc.'s
Bank shares also helped drive up European equities. The FTSE Eurofirst Index <.FTEU3> of top European shares finished up 0.6 percent at 1,058.45 a day after marking its biggest fall in nearly four months. <.EU>
Shares of Italy's Banco Popolare
The MSCI's all-country world equity index <.MIWD00000PUS> added 0.3 percent to 324.06, a day after recording its biggest one-day drop since late November.
Tokyo's Nikkei index <.N225> fell 0.6 percent to 9,576.06.
In commodity markets, oil prices gained after China said it would boost energy imports this year and data showed a smaller-than-expected increase in U.S. crude stockpiles in the latest week. But concerns persist over supply risks and Iran's nuclear program, despite Iran's offer for talks with major powers.
April Brent crude in London was up $2.14 or 1.75 percent at $124.12 a barrel, and April U.S. oil futures in New York settled up $1.46 or 1.4 percent at $106.16.
Gold rose 0.7 percent to $1.684.91 an ounce, as jewelers in Asia snapped up the metal after prices dropped 2 percent in the previous session.
While analysts thought further bond purchases from the Fed could lower longer-dated yields, Treasury yields ended higher on the day, although well within their tight trading range.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell 8/32 to 100-6/32 in price for a yield of 1.98 percent. German Bund futures retreated from their contract high, last traded up 12 basis points at 140.39.
(Additional reporting by Ed Krudy and Rodrigo Campos in New York, Richard Hubbard and Jessica Mortimer in London; Editing by Leslie Adler)